Published: Sat, October 27, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

Apple CEO launches scathing attack on tech companies that weaponise personal data

Apple CEO launches scathing attack on tech companies that weaponise personal data

Apple can ride a moral high horse when it comes to privacy because it does not primarily depend upon targeted advertising and the collection and sharing of personal data to make money.

Cook warned that the trade in personal information "has exploded into a data industrial complex".

Doubling down on this thought, he added: "We shouldn't sugarcoat the consequences". The company last week unveiled a new privacy portal giving Apple users a way to see what data the company collects on them and the ability to delete if, if they wish. "Our hopes and dreams".

"These scraps of data.each one harmless enough on its own.are carefully assembled, synthesized, traded, and sold", he noted.

Cook's appearance was one-up on his tech rivals and showed off his company's credentials in data privacy, which has become a weak point for both Facebook and Google.

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Regarding Apple's willingness to use Chinese partners for the storage of Chinese iCloud data-a move that may give Chinese authorities better access to that data-Stamos argued that, "Apple needs to document how they protect data stored by a PRC-owned cloud provider".

"Your profile is then run through algorithms that can serve up increasingly extreme content, pounding our harmless preferences into hardened convictions".

Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai, CEOs of Facebook and Google will also appear at the conference later this week but in pre-recorded video messages rather than in person.

The iPhone and Mac computer giant has stood out in its explicit declarations that Apple prefers to protect its customers' personal data.

In regards to privacy, Cook said the "crisis is real". Most people won't have to worry about the Federal Bureau of Investigation trying to open up their phone, but Cook's description of our data being weaponized against us is true for many internet users, even ones who were never on services like Facebook to begin with.

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During his speech, Cook complimented the European Union for passing GDPR.

Cook did not namecheck the elephants in the room: Google, Facebook and other background data brokers that profit from privacy-hostile business models.

Apple has claimed that it "has strong data privacy and security protections in place and no backdoors will be created into any of our systems".

Cook didn't name the offenders in his speech, but he blasted the tech industry's reliance on collecting people's personal data to run their products.

While Facebook and Google have faced scrutiny this year for their data collection practices, Cook has sought to position Apple as the face of "responsible tech", adding more privacy controls for users, including secure password management; and bolstering its intelligent tracking feature in Safari, preventing companies from tracking users as they browse the internet.

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In an age rife with hackers, bad actors, and even the very companies trusted with hoarding all this data misusing our private information, the Apple CEO came out and threw his support behind a "comprehensive federal privacy law in the United States".

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